Tuesday, May 31, 2005
I've Got Nothing
I need to write things down - if I don't remember, who will? What's frustrating is that I just had an amazing string of thoughts go through my head and I wanted to capture it all but I started a conversation with someone that ended up going not where I wanted it to go and I forgot most of it (the string of thoughts, not the conversation). Here's a random collection of what I managed to salvage - which isn't very much:
Recently I've come to a pseudo-conclusion that blogging is all about reaching out to people and using that as a microcosm for life, I'm starting to believe that the secret to life lies in sharing your experiences with others. You know that I know what it's like to share everything you've got with one special person to suddenly not being able to do so anymore. So when something exciting, trivial, unbelievable, or mundane happens now, I have to get used to not telling The One, but just Someone. Someone important, someone I trust, someone I know. My blog is the nebulous 'Someone' in my life. I feel better, lighter, after I write something here. So when Blogger goes down for a few hours - or god forbid, a day - it drives me close to insane. But methinks I need to learn to curb that addiction, that I need to learn how to keep things to myself. Or do I?
Not thinking about anything bad is good - difficult to do, but good. We try our best and we have our moments. Let yourself feel them real good and deep right now and hopefully they won't come back. And as for logic - ha. The heart knows no logic. That's why I'm glad I've still got my brain.
I let memories play too large a role in my life. Can you tell? So let's focus on the present and near future (but not in that order):
I'm going to California. I'm going to Quebec City (again and again). I'm going camping. I'm going to Ottawa (one last time). I'm going to sleep.
To The Person Who Keeps Calling My House And Hanging Up When I Pick Up The Phone
One day I'm going to run out of cheeks to turn. Thank you kindly.
Monday, May 30, 2005
You're Making Me Blush
One of the most awkward things that I will ever do is shop for lingerie with a male. A family member male. But these circumstances set the scene for the afternoon shopping adventure that I went on with my uncle the other day. It started off innocently enough, going to the mall to pick up non-embarrassing items like movie packages and bus tickets. But he told me that the Jacob Outlet was having a liquidation sale, and, letting The Girl Factor in me rise to previously unknown heights, I said that we should drive all the way to the other end of town so I could look at cheap clothes even though I had just said to him that I didn't want to do anymore shopping. I did think that it wasn't a completely selfish act because surely he could find cheap liquidated items as well! Apparently Jacob only sells women's clothing. I seriously hadn't noticed before.
So the poor man wanders into a store next door, comes to check on me in a bit and there I am with five skirts and two tops in my arms waiting to get into the dressing rooms. He tells me he's going to Home Depot and that he'll be back for me later. When he comes back I've gotten rid of the skirts and the shirts but I've moved onto lingerie and sensing the impending awkwardness, I say, "I'm almost done I swear! But I want to try on some more thingies," hoping that he'll get the idea that I'll be a little while longer and go into some other more masculine store. Not so much. He decides to hang around. So there I am, flipping through lacy, see-through numbers in light pink, hot pink and the ever popular black, looking for my size with my uncle standing right beside me. I'm trying to move as fast as I can but the spaghetti straps get caught in the hangers and the silky things start slipping to the floor. I am obviously flustered.
Even in retrospect, I'm not sure if what happened next made things more or less awkward: He asked me whether I thought his girlfriend would like anything. Normally, if I'm shopping with friends, I'd have no problem helping the guy pick out something nice for his girlfriend, but this is my uncle we're talking about. It's bad enough that I'm buying things for me in front of him, but I do not, repeat: do not, want to help my uncle pick out his girlfriend's sex clothes. But there was no backing out. I tried so so hard not to think about it too much, but she's even the same size as me and he ended up getting her the same styles in two of the same colours that I picked out. I mean, I'm comfortable with my uncle and all, but not that comfortable. *insert polite shudder here*
Sunday, May 29, 2005
There Is Truth, But No Logic
I want you to know that it's hard. It's hard to feel like I'm being completely honest when I tell people that "I'm okay" in response to their asking how I am. The truth is that, although I am okay for the most part, there are still many hard moments to crawl through. The truth is that I can't stop thinking about you.
I want you to know that I am reminded everywhere I go. When I go for walks by myself down King Street I think about that night that you stumbled your way to the hospital, crying to me over your cellphone. I see the restaurants we ate at, the benches that I sat on, taking a rest on the way home from the psychiatric ward when I went to visit you. I pass the Dairy Queen sometimes and remember the time Jackson came to pick us up and we went for ice cream even though it was kind of chilly that night. Then I remember that Jackson isn't my friend anymore. None of your friends are my friends anymore and though I'd like to think that they still like me, the truth is that I can't.
I want you to know that I have to give tours of Ottawa as a part of my job and I can't believe the luck that makes me walk the same streets that we walked on two Valentine's Days ago. I tell the kids all about how the Rideau Canal was built, but when I see it, it's not the history or Colonel John By that comes to mind, it's the memories of how we held hands the entire way, skating all 15.6 frozen kilometers of it. We have free time for lunch in Byward Market and I roam the shops by myself - I see the tea place where you bought elderberry tea, the Lebonese restaurant where we ate, the gallery that we browsed. The art that we touched is still there after two years.
The truth is that I can't escape you - you are everywhere that I call home. In Toronto I walked past that mirrored wall where I made us stop to take a photo even though we were already late for the symphony. This is the street we walked down on our 'first date', and over that way is the Hummingbird Center where we watched The Nutcracker for the last two Christmases. In Markham I see the Indian restaurant we used to frequent, and I drove by your street today. I sleep on the new yellow bedsheets my mother bought me and I can't help but think how convenient it was that she got them right after we broke up - I think she was trying to protect my heart.
The truth is, when I was in St. Jacobs the other day, I tried to protect my heart too. I didn't go to the places we went on our anniversary and I purposely didn't let my gaze linger when I saw a brochure for the bed and breakfast that we stayed at. But the one thing I did do was pick up a jar of elderberry jam. I know it's rare, it's not sold in grocery stores, and that you really love it. I picked it up and held it in my hand for a really long time, debating whether or not I should buy it and drop it off in your mailbox. I almost did. I didn't for more reasons than I can explain, one being that I didn't need something else to remind myself of you. I think that happens enough as it is.
This restaurant, that hotel, this street, that cafe, this store, that theater. I am surrounded. I randomly walked into a used bookstore a few weeks ago and it felt eerily familiar. I realized soon that we had been there before and you had bought a book on children's literature. I am angry at myself for remembering these things because they are so trivial now and so disarming that I lose all composure when I am randomly visited by memory at these strange hours. Why can't I forget?
If you're reading this, I want you to know that there is elderberry jam for sale at the St. Jacobs Market. And if you're not, maybe somebody else will tell you.
Friday, May 27, 2005
I Just Don't Have The Words
I've been meaning to tell you about all the wonderful adventures I'm having despite this nasty cold that just won't go away even though I'm taking a multi-vitamin and echinacea pill every morning with my glass of orange juice that has lemon slices floating in it. But I just can't do it. I even have photos! Yes, I have photos of when Matt and I decided to take full advantage of the beautiful weather yesterday and take a twenty minute bus ride to the village of St. Jacobs. I want to tell you how much fun I had in the markets (open-air AND indoor) that I didn't even notice when three hours had passed or that the sun was indeed burning my shoulders and back so that I would later have to slather Vaseline on them.
I want to tell you stories from when I go out with my friends, how we go dancing and how she made out this guy and how his friend later collected all of our phone numbers and e-mail addresses and actually e-mailed us a few days later which I thought was funny, but I shouldn't be so mean as to laugh at him - which I did.
I want to tell you about how I've technically got three jobs right now, one that doesn't start for three weeks, but I've been hired already and what's neat is that the other two jobs place me in the Tour Guide role so that I'm calling myself L'il Miss Tour Guide because all I do is give tours of Ottawa or Quebec City or my university campus. I've never owned so many white golf shirts before.
To tell you the truth, I don't really feel like telling you how I've been making tuna salad and eating almost nothing but tuna salad for the last week because I have a giant jar of Miracle Whip that I need to get rid of before the end of this week. Whoops, I just did. The stuff still kind of tastes good (I'm surprised I'm not totally sick of it) but having a stuffy nose helps.
I really don't feel like telling you how I walked all the way to downtown Waterloo to audition for the KW Little Theater only to mess up my monologue by forgetting a huge chunk of it right in the beginning but I was taught to recover well, which I did, but not well enough for them to offer me a part when they called the next day. I was also slightly unwilling to perform on stage in my underwear which seemed to bother one of the casting dudes, but hey - sucks to your assmar. Doug, who was doing the calling, liked me a lot though and sounded disappointed that I wouldn't be in the show but told me to audition in late July and almost guaranteed me a part in his play. I'll see you in July, Doug.
I want to tell you how I walked to Matt's place after my half-crappy audition and I was half-worried that I would get lost or that something bad would happen because it was almost ten at night and it was dark and I was alone - a single female walking alone at night through empty parking lots that still had one red van sitting in them while three guys rode by with their bikes and yelled things is something to kind of worry about I tell you. And as I walked, I thought about how I was about an hour late showing up to his house and whether or not he was concerned at all about where I was - not that I told him where the audition was being held (stupid me) - and that if something DID happen, how would he know? How would anyone know? Would he call my house, go out to look for me, call someone else? How would my family know? Would they tell my friends, or would my friends just figure it out after they tried to reach me for a really long time and couldn't find me? How would any of you know, because my blog would just sit here and my last post would have been about me being sick and stupid MSN conversations.
I want to tell you that I'm leaving town again - this time for about three weeks and though I've survived and enjoyed my time away from this place for two weeks before, the thought of that extra week without my computer and other amenities has me really stressed out. But if deciding what to pack is the most of my worries right now, I've got it pretty easy.
I want to and don't want to tell you all these things but I just can't seem to find the words even though this post took me a real long time to write so that I'm almost late for my campus tour.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
On Being Sick And MSN
I'm sick yet again. I can go on about how I've spent the last little while sleeping or just lying in bed, taking multi-vitamins and echinacea, watching TLC, breathing through my mouth and blowing my nose, but I'm fairly confident that I can sum all this up in one word: unnghhh. I'm thanking the fates that be that at least I'm sick during my off-time. I can't imagine what it would be like if I was sick while on the road.
I've discovered that being sick and indoors all day allows one to do three loads of laundry and spend lots of time documenting some funny MSN conversations. As a result of using this photo as my little icon, someone I knew in high school messaged me.
long time no talk, hope things are going well, i just stumbled over your msn pic, and the shear hottness of it compelled me write something!
I laughed out loud. Then I said thanks and that things were going well; I hoped things were good for him too. He clearly wasn't all that interested in striking up any sort of conversation with me as his next message was:
i hope to run into ya one day this summer, catch up and what not.... and dont laugh, a picture says it all!!! ttyl, peace
Hopes to run into me? I haven't seen or talked to this guy in ages. And now he wants to catch up because he thinks I look hot in the picture? Yeesh. Tom, Pratik and Mikey B also had some things to say about it and though they weren't particularly blog-worthy, they still deserve a little mention.
Being the bestest guy around, Matt later told me that he was going grocery shopping so I conveniently asked him if he wouldn't mind picking me up some orange juice to help fight my cold.
ok, i'll get you orange juice
Thanks. It doesn't have to be fancy Tropicana stuff, the regular cheapy kind is fine. And lemons too, if they're fresh and on sale.
so now i have to inspect the lemons too?? it's like we're married :(
Hahahaha! LOL. Is that what married couples do?
inspect lemons? yes.. all the time
Okay, fine! Don't inspect the lemons if you don't want to.
maybe i wont
Fine! Don't! *slams door*
:( i'm gonna go shopping now
Okay. Have fun. Thanks again DEAR.
Like I said, being the bestest guy around, he shows up at my place later not only with orange juice and one or two or even three lemons, but FIVE. They were fresh AND on sale he said. Being sick isn't so bad if you get a little pampered every now and then I suppose.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
I have a lot of things to say but my thoughts are not yet formed into any semblance of coherence enough to be posted. Wow, that was bad grammar. See what I mean about not being able to write? So now, to spare your minds from my icky words, you Dear Readers become Dear Viewers. Here are some photos of the recent past:
Lunch by Lake Ontario in Kingston.
The huge hotel room and bathroom I had all to myself.
A view of Upper and Lower Quebec City from the St. Lawrence River.
East Block of Parliament Hill on a gloomy day in Ottawa.
Red tulips by Center Block on Parliament Hill and red carnations in Byward Market, Ottawa.
Me, last night.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Lessons In Moving On
I come home from tour in the same state every time. Dry skin from the harsh soaps in the hotels and residences. Croaky voice from yelling loud enough for a group of forty to hear the instructions. Red lips from dehydration and the recycled air in the coach. Sore feet from seventeen hour days. Angry stomach from highway service center foodstuffs. On the verge of a cold, bloodshot-tired eyes, stiff-whiny muscles. Exhausted.
I told my kids on the coach tonight that the hardest part about being a Tour Manager is not the long days, the stress, organization, paperwork, or any one of the multitude of things that we do while on the road. The hardest part is saying Goodbye. I thought that getting on the coach with over forty new faces and saying, "Can I have your attention at the front please?" and then introducing myself would make me nervous (it did), but nothing makes me shake and sweat and breathe deeeep like mentally prepping for my farewell. Every time someone asks me about what I do, I tell them how great the job is, how wonderful I have it, how I'm lucky and can't complain. I think I actually found something that I don't like.
The first day is always a bit lukewarm - I'm still getting to know everyone, learning names and trying to figure out whether or not the teachers like me. But by the middle of the second day I really start to love my kids. And by the time I get close to a bunch of them, we all have to go home. There's always the kids at the back of the bus whose names you still can't figure out, but the ones up front latch on to you and after so many hours together, you want to hang out with them and go shopping and dance and do a facial and be in their pictures. I get to be their friend for a bit and afterwards they hug me and tell me they love me and want my e-mail so they can talk to me on MSN. I actually hold back some tears as I tell them, "Good luck with the rest of the year, and good luck in high school and everything after that...." I wish them the very best and I know that they'll be great.
Is it just me? Are my emotional strings too sticky and tangly? I'm like the Anti-Buddha, getting attached to every single thing just a bit too much and very easily. Over the last few days I watched My Kids interact with each other and answer trivia questions, and I thought to myself in the most uncondescending way possible that I was so proud of them, when really, I had nothing to do with any of it. Perhaps this job will be good for me (moreso than it already is) - it will teach me abrupt lessons in moving on, how to leave but cherish memories and how to continuously enjoy the temporary moments in life. Mm-mmm transitory fragments.
Monday, May 16, 2005
Someone once told me that they treat their relationships with others kind of like investments. He said that he puts a lot into other people so that when he needs them, they would put a lot out for him. When he logs onto MSN, he does a check up on a number of people to see how they are, (half-)expecting that they will do the same for him (I find this works easier if you go online with a depressive screen-name). This rubbed me the wrong way at first - I didn't necessarily want to treat my friends like a bank account from which I wanted interest. I wondered if he was right and he told me to try it for myself.
Lately, I suppose I have without even meaning to. Now that I've lost a very big relationship, I do have more efforts and time to spend on nurturing other friendships. But even though I spend lots of time with certain people or talk to them a lot, I've discovered it doesn't necessarily mean that they care about you. The chances say Most Likely, but I'm not so big on taking chances anymore. It turns out that real friends will give you all their efforts no matter what. Sure, a little maintenance is good every now and then, but even if you don't talk for a year, a good friend will be there anyway. Friends are there when you need them, and most importantly, when you don't.
Maintenance is a funny thing - a lot of people do the upkeep because they feel they should - real friends have a desire that transcends the 'should'. They want to call you and talk to you and see how you are - just because. They want to spend time with you, even if you're both just sitting in a room doing your own thing. They are the ones who like you as much as you like them, who appreciate all the quirky weird things that you do, who will listen even though they've read it all on your blog the day before. They drive you around town because you don't have your license. You can call them at three or five in the morning. They will give you a pair of clean, dry underwear if you get pushed in the pool and your clothes are in their dryer. They hug you really tight. Your heart smiles when you think about them.
My friend N from high school said a few days ago that she feels a bit guilty about still being so attached to us ('us' being the little group of geeky kids who hung around together a lot) after all these years ('all' being two). Others have moved on and made their new group of university friends as most people do. But I think the fact that we're still fairly attached to each other says something wonderful, that our bonds are strong enough to withstand distance and time. I don't think that she needs to feel guilty at all. I sure don't.
*I started writing this post on April 21 at 9:33pm, but it was unfinished and saved as a draft until tonight. For some reason, I think that there is some significance as to why I started writing this on that day, so I'm making a historical note of it right here. Thanks for putting up with my neuroticness.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
I'm not sure if I'm feeling a bit grumpy today or just lethargic. I think I feel somewhat lost without my journal and these scraps of paper just aren't doing it for me. Without those thin blue lines I'm more inclined to write down phrases and questions rather than whole thoughts or stories. My mind seems to be a bit jumbled like these thoughts randomly scattered on the page...I'm starting to do things that I'm not understanding again.
I am without my CD collection here in Markham so I looked through the music that I didn't pack when I moved away. I came across two mixed CDs that Greg made for me when we were still together. One is entitled Greg's "I Love You" Mix CD and the other Shirley's Goodbye CD (for when I went to a conference in Atlanta). To tell you the truth, I've been listening to the I Love You mix on repeat for most of the evening. I don't know why, I can't explain it.
Part of me is thinking that it's nice to remember what it was like when we were together and how much fun we had - the last song on the CD is about how his biz-nitch is the shiz-nitch, and it totally makes me laugh out loud. I suppose I'm just feeling reminiscent and I'd rather remember a relationship that I associate with more good than bad right now. It's nice to remember what it was like to be loved.
It's funny how things work out - a few days ago marked the two year anniversary of when G and I broke up (I of course being the biatch who broke his heart), but within the last few months we've actually started to 'talk' again. He randomly found my blog and sent me an e-mail which I thought was a lovely gesture. It's not a full-blown friendship just yet (will it ever be again?) and I have to admit that I found it rather unnerving when we started to regularly e-mail each other back and forth.
But then The Rule came to mind. I heard from a friend that when you break up with someone, it takes about double the time that you were together for you two to be friends again. Which is true in this case. Nowadays it's nice to see that I have something from him in my Inbox and I smile. Part two of that rule is that it takes about half the time that you were together for you to be ready for another relationship, which was not true after G and I split. And if it is going to be true this time around with J, I've got a good long bunch of months ahead of me.
I can't tell if this will be the greatest thing in the world for me right now or not. A huge part of me really wants to love someone with all my heart and have them love me back with all of theirs, but I am also verging on being a cynical man-hater. Well, not man-hater, more like the kind of chick who rolls her eyes at every nice thing a new guy says to her and generally stays the hell away from you if you so much as even try to make a move on her. A man-stayer-awayer. Yeah, that's me. Stay away.
I hesitate a bit to expand on this any more because I haven't gotten all of it figured out yet. Part of me wants the love but part of me knows I'm afraid to jump in again, so I hide behind this shell. It's classic heart-break syndrome. It's by the book and almost predictable. But I still don't get why I was listening to that CD all day.
Saturday, May 14, 2005
And Here I Am
I left my house on Sunday evening and got the nagging feeling that I was forgetting something. Mark and I went through my checklist, but it seemed that I had everything. When I was on the road to Ottawa on a coach with 39 students, 3 teachers and another coach in front of us, I realized that I forgot my journal. Granted, I haven't had much time to write anything that isn't a reminder, but now that my tour is over and I'm at home, I've resorted to writing on scraps of paper meant for the recycling bin.
I suppose this could be a good thing because my present journal is near done and there's something a bit sad and sigh-worthy about finishing a journal. I bought this one at the end of November and just six months later it's all filled up with quite a bit of unhappiness. I wonder if [read: hope] it'll end on a good note.
My trip turned out very well and I actually miss my kids a fair bit - after five days with the same people it's hard not to get attached. Doing my goodbye speech on the coach was more nerve-racking than doing my hello speech. I've learned the importance of initial room inspections at hotels, and that any problem can be fixed, even if it does mean you need to spend an hour and a half on a street in Ottawa and flag down an RCMP officer. I know now that I can still be energetic on four to six hours of sleep every day for five days and that most kids thrive on competition. Ottawa is an easy and important city to give tours of, but I prefer Quebec City because it is so much more interesting and absolutely beautiful. I will never tire of the architecture and history. I'm glad that I get to go back soon and hopefully I'll get more time to snap some photos.
I'm at home for a few days before my next tour and I'm a lucky gal because I've already had the chance to meet up with some old friends from high school. We caught up, went to the Art Gallery and caught up some more over tea and snacks. My mum is wonderful and made me an appointment for a facial tomorrow (after she got me a massage just two weeks ago too) in addition to shopping for a new skirt. I don't need a new skirt but she wants me to go with her to get one anyway. Shrug. Sure.
The Art Gallery is awesome and May being Museum Month, admission is free! It's not a good idea to go in groups as everyone moves at a different pace (I like to linger and soak in as many things as I can). I found myself rushed and I couldn't finish watching that clip on Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Drat.
Random crypticness creeps in at night so I'd better stop writing now before it's too late. It's time for bed and I'm sure there will be plenty of random crypticness for y'all later.
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Goodbye For A While
I'm feeling the strange inability to form nice sentences right now, but I'll try my best to uh, say...stuff.
I'm leaving town for a while, and I'm feeling a bit stressed out about it right now. I've spent the day prepping for my tour which starts tomorrow morn at 6:30am (5:00am if you count the time I have to be at the Coach yard to meet the driver) and I'm still not feeling ready whatsoever. I don't know how to use that damn cell phone/walkie-talkie machine-type-thing, I haven't mapped any routes yet, and I have an entire binder's worth of touristy facts to brush up on/learn. It's also gorgeous outside today and I've been stuck inside getting my act together.
Note to future self: Start this crap earlier next time.
And so there it is, I'm stressed and I'm outta here. Time to make Ottawa and Quebec City fun for 76 elementary school kids and two handfuls of teachers. Here I come!
A Note To My Future Self
You might just never understand boys. Ever.
Your Present Self
Saturday, May 07, 2005
The Problem With The Truth
It's funny how at the worst times in your life, when your heart and soul are failing you, your brain kicks into overdrive. It's at times like these that you can realize some neat things about yourself. In my case, this past winter was when I finally said out loud that "I'm a fairly perceptive gal." Counsellor Lindsay agreed and then I stopped seeing her shortly after. It wasn't any sort of insult to her personally or professionally - I thought she was lovely. I just realized that I didn't really need her anymore because I had been figuring things out by myself the entire time anyway. I knew the truth all by myself.
But to every silver lining, there's a shadow - because otherwise the silver wouldn't really stand out you see (or I suppose, there's the existence of the cloud in general that you have to contend with). The problem with being perceptive is that you're usually right, even when you don't want to be. So even though you want desperately to put aside logic and truth and the simple obviousness of it all to believe the stories that are being told, it can be very, very difficult. And sometimes, you can't do it.
The overtly optimistic, sometimes silly and frequently foolish idealism is still in me somewhere (I think it's taking an extended nap) so I'm not completely cynical just yet. But I do remember thinking that Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy were all made up characters at the tender age of seven. I thought that make believe games were stupid - just because you run around the field during recess does not make you Batman or Robin or Catwoman. Plus, there were at least three Batmans and every girl was Catwoman. I rolled my eyes at superstitions. (What a childhood, eh?)
But even though I didn't necessarily 'believe' in these things did not stop me from celebrating them. Christmas was my favourite time of the year. When I woke up to a big box at the foot of my bed, I thought to myself that Santa saw I had been a good girl - even though I knew inside my parents bought me that Barbie kitchen. I went on Easter egg hunts and instead of getting money for the teeth that had fallen out, I did as my grandmother told me: throw the top teeth down the sewer to make them grow straight down and throw the bottom teeth onto the roof to make them grow straight up. I lifted my feet in the car when we drove over railway tracks and held my breath when we passed a cemetery. Sometimes I played the games at recess. I knew all these things were silly, but a part of me didn't want to let go of them. I half knew them to be silly, half hoped that they weren't.
At twenty-one now, half of me knows the simple truth about things, but the other half wants the complication, the messiness and the wondering. I want to hear the stories, to believe in something else. Most of me hopes that there's something more than just the truth. Sometimes the truth hurts, sometimes it's boring. Sometimes the truth isn't good enough.
Thursday, May 05, 2005
Sometimes I can be a whiny bitch. Sometimes I get into rant mode. Did you read that post about being angry? Yeesh.
The feelings are obviously there, and I feel them (I wouldn't sink so low as to make up shite about being mopey). But the truth is, that's all either just residual teenaged angst or artsy angst. I think that a part of me didn't quite live the teenager title up to it's fullest, so I'm making up for it now. Or maybe I'm going through that early-to-mid-twenties stage where I want to be as artsy as possible so I channel all my bitterness into my blog and then I go make it into a book. Or something.
If you consider the facts, I live a pretty charmed life.
I am financially comfortable to the point where I am able to pay for my university education by myself. I had an awesome job on campus. There have been two instances when I've had a job interview and got it offered to me mere hours after I left the office. I had the luxury of turning one of those down two weeks ago. I get good marks in school. I do fun stuff outside the classroom like act in plays and then get awards for it. I get other awards for my volunteer work and my marks. I recently got a part in a film. My job for the next two months involves taking kids on trips to Ottawa and Quebec City. I have enough clothing to clothe forty women for forty days (and possibly forty nights). I constantly eat neat foods from around the world and can do whatever I wish for the next week. I like my hair. And then I get accepted to attend a conference in California.
The Institute for Humane Studies likes me and the words that I put on their application form so they're allowing me to attend their Liberty, Art & Culture Seminar in July. I'm excited for a number of reasons. First, the e-mail that was sent to me stated that they are encouraging students to bring music, guitars, short films, poetry, to prepare an interpretive dance, a song, and all other art forms as there will be lots of time allocated to sharing, screenings and performances of our creative works. All this in addition to "thought-provoking lectures, lively discussion, and hands-on learning". Wow. I'm going to be surrounded by smart people and art for a week.
Moreover, the seminar is being held at Chapman University in Orange, California. So from July 2 to July 8, I'm going to be in Orange County, CA. Eat your heart out, OC fans. The university campus looks beautiful (as most US campuses are) and it also has a piece of the Berlin Wall. Neat. And according to a map, Disneyland is just one centimeter West of where I'll be. What's cooler still, is that I will be in the US for the Fourth of July! I'm actually quite excited to see what kind of extravagance there will be for the holiday as I've only ever seen it on TV or movie screens. Mmm, American nationalism.
Another great thing is that the seminar is free(!) so all I have to do is find a way down there and find a way home. I'm hoping to fly down a day or so early and stay a day or so later and do some sightseeing in LA. Anyone want to come along for the trip? I'm serious - if you're willing to fly down with me, we can hang for the first and last two days, and in between you can do anything you want.
So yeah, I do a bit of complaining every now and then, but it serves well to make news like this just a tad more exciting. Good can't exist without the bad and all that, right?
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Sometimes I think I'm doing okay, that I'm Over It and Moving On. And for the most part, I am. But every now and then I relapse because of a silly thing like how he didn't say Happy Birthday, or coming across old love notes when I'm cleaning my room. Even though it's been months and we haven't talked in ages, I still expect us to eventually. I know I'm being silly. I'm angry at my hope. Those might just be the saddest five words I've ever written.
I don't know if this helps or makes things worse, but what I keep reminding myself of are the words that Counsellor Lindsay said to me those many months ago: People just don't care. I was trying to explain why I blog to her, that it feels like a weight has been lifted off me when I write and that it's a wonderful way to reach out to people and have them reach back. She tried to understand, but instead slapped me with a bit of harsh reality. People just don't care. And it's funny because sometimes I think she's right.
But then I get an e-mail from Zev or Tara, near-complete strangers who started reading my blog a few months ago. I chat with Zoli, a not-so-much stranger anymore because though we met through my blog, we've kept in touch over the last two years. The same with Leah. I get a gift from someone who just decided one day that he'd like to send me something from my Wishlist. Will once sent me an e-mail with just four words: Shirley, You are great. I got tons of support during my break ups from virtual strangers like Mace and Trish. Once a stranger, Chris asked me out for a non-creepy coffee after reading just one sad post. And suddenly, I can't think that people don't care because I have evidence that they do.
With the exception of C, the one thing that I've noticed is that they are all people that I do not 'know' - though now I can say that I know them a bit better than at first. They are all from different parts of the world and I've never met any of them in person - we 'met' and maintain our friendships online. And I think that it's nicer that way. I don't know what it is about strangers, bloggers, or blog-readers, but I've realized that you have an amazing ability to make me happy, often in different (but still wonderful) ways than the people I know in real life. You've shown me that sometimes, people do care, even if they are far away, even if it is just a little bit. For that, I want you to know that though we may never be in the same place at the same time, I feel something that can only be described as a very deep appreciative love for all of you, and for everything, I thank you. So very, very much.
Stand Climb And Fall/Can't Carry It All
I realized a couple of weeks ago that I'm angry. Angry at myself for the stupid things that I did, angry at him for the stupid things he did, angry at everything for making us hurt. Then I got angry at his friends (even the ones that I still liked), I got angry at loyalties and the idea of choosing sides. I was angry with myself because I wanted to see these people, but when I did it made me miserable. I got angry at the people who were supposed to help me heal because they ended up being bad for me and made the situation worse. I got angry at my crushes. I was angry at myself for liking them, for letting them use me more than I used them. I got angry with my room for not cleaning itself. I was angry with my constant emotional attachments. I got angry with my stunted creativity.
For a while I hated all these things and all these people and I felt the hatred so deeply that it disturbed me. Then I hated blogs (that one caught me by surprise too); I hated his because every time I looked at it it felt like my insides were ripping apart. I hated his friends' blogs because they had photos of him and mentioned his name too many times. I hated my crush's blog because I checked it too often. I hated blogs of friends because I realized they weren't really my friends. I hated those people who were experiencing the same feelings I was, but could write about it and express it better than I could. I hated my blog for what it had become (whatever that is). I considered getting rid of the damn thing altogether.
I hated a lot of things for some time, and I think that a lot of that anger still resides in me. I have good days, but those eventually give over to simply being good moments. A full day is not complete without some sort of rant or ill-happening.
Someone once said to me that in looking for a girl, he would like them to have some sort of dark side, some belief in bleakness. Being happy and nice all the time was too much for him. I winced at this because I wasn't angry at the time and instead, was filled with tween-aged glee. But now, a mere two months later, I feel that bleakness down to the core of my bones. I feel deflated and disappointed and tired and angry - still. Luckily(?), it's a calm kind of angry and it only ever shows itself over the phone or in my journal. I'm not raging, but fairly subdued. When it comes down to it, I'm wary. My optimism and idealism has been shot to near death and then I get angry at the fact that I'm no longer the same optimistic-idealist I once was - it's a terrible cycle. I'm so sick of it but I have this feeling that I might just have to wallow in it for a while.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Catching My Breath
Sometimes I feel like playing hermit for a while. My week at home was spent in pseudo-anonymity; only a select few individuals knew I was there and so we got to hang out, but I didn't make it a point to tell everyone where I was. I have to admit that it was rather nice to sit at home for a few days and do nothing. The best part was that it felt like I didn't have to do anything. Sometimes the worst part about being stressed out is not doing the multitude of things that you have to do, it's just the knowing that you have so many things to do.
Now I'm alone in another city and there's barely anyone around so my hang out time is limited to the schedules of those lucky few who are still here. I miss the roomie and our conversations, but the me time (though it can get a bit lonely sometimes) should be good. I feel like I need to take things slow - the last handful of months have been emotionally and mentally draining with consequences that show themselves physically (weight fluctuations, angry skin, more frowning, less smiling, an often wrinkled brow) and I need a rest.
I'm looking forward to many relaxing movie nights (including the very exciting HGTTG - if you know what that stands for you're in my Cool Book) and hopefully lots of reading. Eventually I hope to finish cleaning and reorganizing my room, a project that I started two days ago. I'm spending more time on the phone these days, catching up with people and keeping up to date with Tanya. Though I fully appreciate our phone coversations, I really miss the random things she'd blurt out when she was bored. If you were to have (invisibly) walked into our house during the last year, it's likely that you would have heard some of the following:
Those pants make your butt look long.
Sometimes I feel like a nut!
If I were an animal, what animal would I be?
Hm, you'd be a slug.
Come on, Stumps!
Yeah, I could be a kangaroo, you know, because of the hair colour.
You need a babushka.
Oh look, the cat's going crazy again.
Witchy eee! Witchy eee!
But Tanya, my legs don't know how to be as long as your legs.
Monday, May 02, 2005
I turned twenty-one in the arms of my lovely friend Nicola last night and for the moments when I was out with her and her roomies, I was having a great time even though I am not particularly happy about having turned twenty-one. I sound older than I feel and I don't like sounding old (in the eighth grade I called one of my friends and she told me that when she picked up the phone she thought I was the teacher - I've never really gotten over that). It really seemed like just another day, except it was used as a good reason to give me money, get the extended family together for brunch and for girls to invite me over for fajitas and cake. I didn't make the day anything special because I spent a good chunk of it on the road travelling back to an empty house, then cleaning out my room and putting together a new shelf from Ikea. Happy Birthday indeed.
The evening shaped up in a funny way, celebrating with people I didn't know, who had no real good reasons to make me food or buy me drinks or drive an hour and a half to come and see me. I felt a bit pampered and this made me uneasy. I have to admit that I haven't felt 'special' in a while and the sudden outpouring of it last night was unnerving. I became (more) self-conscious and annoyed people with my offers to help or do something. I literally tried to hide under the table when the entire bar and band erupted into cheers and started to say nice things and sing to me.
When I wasn't busy trying to hide the fact that I really don't mind being the center of attention, many photos were taken. Here's a sampling of what last night was all about (aka The Shirley & Niki Gallery - With A Special Attempt At Captioning!).
Me, Niki and the Cake.
Niki loves me, even at the bar.
Especially at the bar.
Yes, we are indeed trying to share a nacho. One, single nacho chip.
I told you this is a lot of me and Niki photos.
Yeah, I'm kind of getting sick of us.
One last attempt at trying to each nachos seductively.
We thought Niki still looked hungry, in that non-seductive way. Sorta. Wow, that's a lot of hands in the same general area.
There seemed to be something left on Niki's finger and we were obviously (and stupidly) very intrigued by it.
The only sensible thing to do, of course, was to lick it. Which I am obviously (and stupidly) doing.
This is Adrian, an all around nice guy. Here he is liking Jackie just a wee bit much.
Too bad this is what Jackie really thinks of Adrian.
I got sassy with Kim.
This was my punishment. Happy Birthday to me.